China successfully launched a reusable test spacecraft

According to Xinhuanet’s report today,  China launched a reusable test spacecraft at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center today.

Naijatechnews learned that the launch mission was completed by the Long March II F carrier rocket. This is also the 14th launch mission of the Long March II F carrier rocket.

▲ Long March rocket

According to reports, the test spacecraft is expected to operate in orbit for a period of time and will return to the domestic scheduled landing site as planned after the mission is completed. During the period, the feasibility of the reusable spacecraft technology will be verified as planned, which will provide technical support for my country’s peaceful use of space resources.

In October 2017, the First Academy of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation stated that the Academy is cooperating with superior institutions within the United Nations to develop reusable vehicles and plans to fly for the first time around 2020. Its ultimate goal is not only to reduce the transportation cost of a unit payload to one-tenth of that of the existing one-time launch vehicle, but also to greatly shorten the launch preparation time, and it is expected to achieve flight-like round-trip transportation like an airplane.

Chen Hongbo, director of the General Office of the R&D Center of the First Academy, said at the time that China’s self-developed reusable vehicles have the characteristics of spacecraft and aerospace vehicles . Compared with traditional disposable rockets, our country is based on the current rocket engines, through technical improvements to enable them to be reused.

It is worth mentioning that the reusable aviation vehicles currently in use can be divided into partial reuse (such as the space shuttle, Falcon 9 rocket, etc.) and complete reuse (the British “Sky Tower” aerospace vehicle).

In 2007, a test machine called “Shenlong” was exposed in China. The “Shenlong” is about 1 meter tall and 5 to 6 meters long, and is about one-third the size of the American X-37B. At the 2017 Global Aerospace Exploration Conference, Liu Shiquan, deputy general manager of China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation, revealed that “(my country) has completed ground tests of a number of key technologies such as engines for a new generation of reusable space-to-earth shuttle aircraft. Significant progress.” Therefore, there are rumors that my country is developing a new generation of aerospace aircraft (cannot be confirmed).

Our country is advancing the “reusable” space project, and the plan is divided into three steps to achieve the actual low-cost space development. First, the rocket power part can be reused; secondly, the rocket power part can be reused. On the basis of the former, a reusable aerospace plane is carried; and finally, the combined power aircraft, an integrated turbine engine, ramjet, A variety of power aircraft such as rocket engines.

This is an innovative step for my country’s aerospace industry. In other countries in the world, such as the United States, reusable spacecraft are no longer a secret. On June 3, 2017, SpaceX used the “Falcon 9” carrier rocket to complete the first test of its “Dragon” spacecraft. my country may have more severe tasks waiting in the field of reusable spacecraft.

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